Tips to Improve Your Confidence When Jumping

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Jumping is an activity that can make any rider nervous. Put these tips to work to improve your confidence when jumping your horse.

Do Lots of Flatwork

Feeling secure over fences starts with being secure on the flat. Spend plenty of time doing flatwork with your horse before you progress to jumping. Focus on developing a secure seat and independent hands. Work in jumping position so that you develop the strength you need to support yourself and your horse over fences.

Work with an Instructor

An instructor can help to ensure that you and your horse stay safe while jumping. The instructor can point out weaknesses before they become serious issues. Plus, there’s a mental benefit to working with an instructor – often we’re more confident and more likely to push ourselves under the supervision of an instructor than we are if we’re riding alone.

Ride a Horse You Trust

If you’re nervous about jumping, it’s imperative to ride a horse that you can trust. If you’re just getting back into jumping, then ride a horse who is a quiet but experienced jumper. Knowing that the horse will take care of the jumping will leave you free to focus on yourself over the fences, making it easier to develop your confidence.

Find Your Comfort Zone

As you jump, try to figure out where you are comfortable and where it is that you become nervous. Working inside your comfort zone can give you added confidence, and stepping just slightly outside your comfort zone is a good way to start to push yourself. Is it fence height that makes you nervous? The type of fences, or the approach? Speed may also be a factor which makes you nervous.

Wear Safety Equipment

Don’t forget to thoroughly equip yourself with safety equipment each time you turn to jumping. A riding helmet is a necessity, but also consider wearing a protective vest when you jump. The vest can give you an added sense of security and protection in the event of a fall.

Take Things Slow

Above all else, take things slow as you progress with your jumping. There’s no better way to erode your confidence than to push yourself too far and too fast. Instead, think of taking small steps and then giving them time to sink in. Raise fence height, and stick with that height for a month or two until you feel solid over every single fence.

Jumping requires major confidence, so put these tips to work when improving your confidence over fences.

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